News / Middle East

    Tensions Escalate Between US, Israel Over Iran Nuclear Talks

    Tensions Escalate Between US, Israel Over Iran Nuclear Talksi
    X
    November 22, 2013 12:07 AM
    The U.S. alliance with Israel is being strained by deep disagreements over a possible deal with Iran regarding that country’s controversial nuclear program. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
    Meredith Buel
    The U.S. alliance with Israel is being strained by deep disagreements over a possible deal with Iran regarding that country’s controversial nuclear program. 

    It was just eight months ago that President Barack Obama visited Israel.  It was the first foreign trip of his second term - designed to improve relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which have been stressed over the Palestinian conflict.

    But now the two men are at serious odds again - this time over nuclear negotiations with Iran.

    Benjamin Netanyahu:

    "It's clear that this agreement is good only for Iran, and that it's really bad for the rest of the world.  Iran's dream deal is the world's nightmare," he said.

    Israel is concerned Iran is too close to building a bomb - and wants its nuclear capabilities rolled back. Iran says its program is peaceful, and the U.S. is pressing international diplomacy to resolve the dispute.

    Dennis Ross, a former senior advisor on Iran to President Obama, sees merits in Israel's position.

    “Even if you are slowing the clock or freezing it, you are freezing it at a level that basically is unacceptable.  Because that level would allow the Iranians to have a break out capability and you are not reversing the program," said Ross.

    The U.S. stance has also angered another key ally in the region: Saudi Arabia.  In what analysts see as an unprecedented development, Israel and many Sunni Arab nations are aligned in their concerns about Iran.

    Adam Ereli, a Middle East expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain, says this puts the U.S. in a delicate position.

    “Let’s not forget our close and steadfast and important allies in the region who not only rely on us, but who we rely on for our national security," said Ereli.

    Israel has threatened to bomb Iran if it gets too close to making a nuclear weapon, despite U.S. efforts to tone down the harsh rhetoric.  Analysts don’t believe Israel will attack during negotiations between world powers and Iran.

    But analyst Robert Satloff says Israel's impatience is growing.

    “I think the likelihood of Israeli military action against Iran has gone way up," said Satloff.

    Satloff says the current Israeli government feels it has been left out in the cold.

    That could have a negative impact on the Middle East peace process, which the U.S. is spearheading.

    “And that is because the crisis of confidence between the United States and Israel will have an impact on this diplomacy," said Satloff.

    Looking away from the U.S., Netanyahu has met with the Presidents of France and Russia to appeal for tough terms on a nuclear accord with Iran.

    Despite the deep disagreements with Netanyahu., Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration will not let down its key ally.

    “We believe deeply in our commitment to Israel, deeply, " said Kerry.

    Kerry says the United States will not accept any deal that allows Iran to buy time to increase its nuclear capability and further threaten Israel.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora